Disney Resort Christmas Decorations at Walt Disney World

Disney Resort Christmas Decorations at Walt Disney World

If you’re traveling to Walt Disney World during the holidays you’ll notice a few things. Crowds and craziness, and waiting in lines are all part of the holiday hoopla at Disney World. so much so, that it may have you wondering when the “vacation” part of your vacation will start. That’s where a Disney Resort Christmas Decorations Tour comes in. This time of year has more crowds, more families, more fights, more everything. You will need to get away. We often take time to escape the parks for a meal, tea or just to get away from the crowds. If you’re looking for a fun way to add a little more relaxation to your vacation, and a little more Festive to your fun, try our Disney Resort Christmas Decorations Tour for the holidays. 

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Visiting the Walt Disney World Resorts During Christmas

One of our favorite ways to take a break from the parks is by visiting Disney Resorts to check out all the holiday decorations. However, it’s not always easy to add in the extra time, especially if you’re tackling all the Disney Christmas things like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, or Christmas at Animal Kingdom. That said, the easiest ways to see Disney Resorts during the holidays is by visiting the ones that all share a transportation route! You know the ones, they’re the same Disney Resorts that make it easy to Resort hop at Disney World when you aren’t staying there. We’ll dive into all of the Best Disney Resorts for Christmas here. 

When Can You See Disney Resorts Christmas Decorations?

Christmas at Walt Disney World begins the second week in November. And you can find Christmas Decorations at the Disney Resorts starting the week of Thanksgiving. Decorations typically include a large lobby Christmas Tree, holiday decorations, seasonal snacks, and merchandise. If you’re heading to Animal Kingdom Lodge you can also take part in Christmas Craft activities! And if you’re heading to the Disney Deluxe Resorts, you can even see the larger than life Gingerbread Displays featuring Disney themed masterpieces made completely from gingerbread. 

Which Disney Resorts Have the Best Christmas Decorations?

Luckily, the resorts that are typically connected to the same transportation routes are easy to get around, accessible from all the parks and Disney Springs. As such, we chose the Disney Resorts that have the best Christmas Decorations, so that you can see a few at once, no matter which path you take. Keep in mind these resorts also have amazing Seasonal Christmas Snacks, Holiday Merch in the Gift Shops, and even sometimes performers in the lobby! 

Grand Floridian Resort Christmas Tree

Disney Monorail Resorts Christmas Decorations Crawl

The easiest way to do the Monorail Resort Crawl if you’re not staying at one of these resorts is simply to head to Magic Kingdom Park. You won’t need a ticket, and can just stay outside the front gates. From the entrance, you can board the Resort Monorail. Then simply stop at each stop along the way. You can explore the restaurants, gift shops, and all the lobbies will have decorations galore. The three resorts included in this Christmas Decoration Tour are Disney’s Contemporary, Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. 

Christmas at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Gingebread castle at the Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort | Cinderella Christmas Gingerbread Castle

Disney’s Contemporary Resort has an annual tradition of setting up a themed gingerbread house right behind the Fantasia shop. Next to the display, you’ll find a sign with fun facts and how many hidden mickeys you can hunt for. This is such a fun resort during the holidays, simply because they have some of the best Disney Christmas Merch in the shop here. And you can always count on a seasonal meal option at Contempo Cafe, and seasonal desserts here too.

Disney Pro Tip: This Gingerbread display has hidden mickeys. Here you can see tiny gold mickey head stickers, as well as a few just carved into the gingerbread. You’ll also find a small station where you can purchase little gingerbread snacks and other treats to hold you over until your next stop.

Christmas at the Polynesian Resort Disney World

The Polynesian Resort and Villas | Tree and Holiday Decorations

If you’d like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island, then Disney’s Polynesian Resort is the place to be. While the resort doesn’t get overhauled for the holiday, like some, you can still count on Christmas things in the Gift Shop, an Island decorated Christmas tree and Christmas treats at Captain Cooks.  You can find the The Polynesian island-inspired Christmas tree near the gift shop on the first floor. As you can see this is not a two-story tree, but still quite beautiful, and matches the decor around the rest of the resort. And you definitely count on hearing Melikalikimaka more than once to add a little holiday to your soundtrack. 

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort at Christmas

Grand Floridian Resort Gingerbread House

Grand Floridian Resort | Gingerbread House and Christmas Tree

By far the busiest Disney Resorts at Christmas is the Grand Floridian. Filled with both resort guests, visitors and locals, the The Grand Floridian Resort really embraces the holidays with a floor-to-ceiling tree and a life-sized gingerbread house. the creation takes 2 months to put together and also features a small treat shop so that you can buy a variety of gingerbread snacks while you’re there.

This is the cornerstone of the Disney Gingerbread Displays during the Holidays. You can typically plan to see the gingerbread house by the second week of November, the tree, however, doesn’t make its debut until Thanksgiving week along with the other resort decorations.  Keep an eye out for the hidden mickeys and the smoke billowing out of the chimney. You can buy a gingerbread shingle at the little shop for about  9 dollars, big enough for two to share and worth getting it for an authentic Gingerbread fix. 

The Disney Grand Floridian Christmas Tree is almost 40 feet tall, and dons all things gold and pink. Typically decorated in variations of the Twelve Days of Christmas, you can find classic Victorian Christmas decorations. Things like birdcages, gold rings, and delicate little ornaments are strewn amongst feather filled branches, and little filigreed ornaments.  

Boardwalk Inn Gingerbread display

Disney Boardwalk Resorts Christmas Crawl

Another great place to explore is the Disney Boardwalk. So, if you’re not just looping back to Magic Kingdom for the day, you can catch a Disney Bus to Disney’s Boardwalk Inn for the second part of our Disney Resort Holiday Decorations Resort Crawl. You can also just plan for this part of your crawl during the day you are at EPCOT. If traveling from Epcot Park, you can walk back to the International Gateway in the World Showcase, leave the park and enter the Disney Boardwalk. Here you will find Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and The Beach Club and The Yacht Club. Also here is a slew of restaurants, and shops, as well as beachside spaces to lounge. 

Disney Resorts at Christmas

The Boardwalk Inn Resort | Boardwalk Gingerbread Village

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort is located near the restaurant side of Disney’s Boardwalk. Laying claim to restaurants like the Boardwalk Ice Cream Shop, Deli, and Trattoria al Forno, there is plenty to do in this area of the Boardwalk. The resort itself is a throwback to turn of the century days along the New England Atlantic coastline. Featuring elements from places like Atlantic City, and Ocean City, you this is a seaside resort town space. And the Gingerbread displays and trees in side the resort share that same theming. 

For the holidays, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort features a mini gingerbread house village that showcases the Boardwalk. Inside this display, you’ll see Mickey cooking up a storm. In addition to the gingerbread display, this resort also features decorated Christmas Trees in the seaside and carousel themes. A small table with gingerbread snacks for sale sits right across from the display in the main section of the lobby. And truthfully, if you’re looking for a lobby to lounge in and revel in the season, you can find that at Boardwalk Inn. It also includes a little coffee shop here, Carousel Coffee, if you needed more reasons to lounge. 

Gingerbread Carousel at the Beach Club

The Beach Club Resort | Gingerbread Carousel Display

Located on the other side of the Boardwalk is the Beach Club, and easy to reach by walking over the bridge. By far one of the most popular Gingerbread displays at Disney World can be found at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. This moveable Gingerbrad Carousel is part of a 20+ years of Disney Gingerbread Displays tradition at The Beach Club. With each Carousel, every year, featuring something different. From Little Mermaid to Lilo and Stitch to Ducktales, the details on this carousel are incredible.

You can also usually find about 50 hidden Mickeys on this carousel. In this photo you’ll notice the first hidden mickey is easy to find on the ingredients podium. But keep your eyes peeled because they pop up everywhere. The gingerbread carousel is set right in the middle of the lobby area and is the first thing you see when you enter the resort, so you can’t miss it! While the Beach Club also has Christmas trees, they are smaller, and simply accents to the main attraction. 

Disney Resorts at Christmas

Disney Resorts at Christmas

The Yacht Club 

In between the Beach Club and Disney’s Boardwalk Inn is Disney’s Yacht Club on Disney’s Boardwalk. One of the best Disney Resorts for Adults on property, the Yacht Club takes a subdued feel to it’s holiday decorations. One year highlighted a train set, while another highlighted a Gingerbread Lighthouse. Nevertheless, you can always count on a large signature Christmas Tree, covered in yachts, and sailing gear with blue, white, and silver vibes for the season. This is also a great resort to stop and take a break. We love visiting Ale and Compass Restaurant and Lounge while we’re here, whether it’s for breakfast or drinks. And the patio area always has rocking chair for extra time admiring the gardens and waterfront. 

Disney Resorts at Christmas

Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Resorts Christmas Crawl

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge can be reached by Disney bus from any Disney Park, or Disney Springs and it’s one of the Best Disney Resorts to Visit for the Holidays. However, if you’re just at Magic Kingdom, then to head to the wilderness for a little Christmas all you need is a boat ride. Check at the front of the park, for the Disney Wilderness Lodge Boat Dock to find your way. You can also just head straight to Wilderness Lodge via bus if you would rather. However, during the holidays, we try to avoid the crazy bus situation at Disney World.

The Wilderness Lodge | Christmas Tree and Holiday Decorations

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is absolutely gorgeous on any normal day, so add a 4 story tree to the lobby, and it quickly becomes our favorite place to be and an absolute must-see tree during the holidays. The tree is decorated with Native American ornaments, all things bear, moose, camping, and anything great outdoors. Some years have even seen a little Gingerbread Log Cabin. Either way, the Christmas Tree is a must-see, and we highly recommend climbing the stairs to the other floors to see it from all angles. It’s absolutely gorgeous. We say, grab a s’mores latte from roaring Fork Cafe, head to the lobby and settle in, because there is nothing better than just lounging in this space. 

Disney Pro Tip: Plan for lunch at Roaring Fork or a meal at Whispering Canyon Cafe or Geyser Point Bar and Grill to make the visit a little more substantial. We also love Territory Lounge for drinks, in a subdued atmosphere when you may need a break from the holiday crazy.  

Fort Wilderness Resort Christmas

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort at Christmas | Decorated Campsites and RV’s

Another place to visit for the holidays at Disney World is Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. Accessible by Disney Bus, or the Boat from Magic Kingdom, Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds offers the best escape from just about everything. During the holidays all the campers, RV’s, and Cabins get spruced for the season. You can walk the 21 loops or rent a golf cart and make a day of it. Grab dinner at Trails End, and then head out as it gets dark to see the lights all over this resort. Guests even bring blow-up decorations too. Be sure to check out the perks of Staying in an RV at Fort Wilderness if you want to get close to the action. 

Disney Pro Tip: If you’re staying late to see the Christmas lights, head to Chip and Dales Campfire Sing Along and stay for the movie afterward. Then simply head back to Magic Kingdom by boat to catch the bus, back to your resort. Boats typically run until 10:30 PM, but check the My Disney Experience App for details. 

Cabins at Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness Christmas Decorations

Animal Kingdom Lodge | Jambo House Christmas Tree

The best way to get to Animal Kingdom Lodge is by Disney Bus from a park, or Disney Springs. It’s not connected to any other transportation line, though is closest to Animal Kingdom Park. Definitely, one of our favorite resorts, Animal Kingdom Lodge dresses up for the holidays like nothing you’ve seen. There’s a large tree, decorated with handicrafts, and animal images. Able to be admired while making ornament crafts in the lounge and listening to seasonal music. If you venture down to Kidani Village you’ll see the smaller tree featured at the top of this post, and get the chance to hear carolers in the evenings in the lobby. This resort is such a great escape from the park crowds and seeing it decorated to the nines was a nice treat.

Disney Pro Tip: If you venture to the 5th floor you can get access to the bridge and a better view of the tree. Check out the Gingerbread Display at Animal Kingdom Lodge featuring the Giraffe, and Zebra displays. Sometimes there are also gingerbread treats for sale! 

disney without a park ticket

Coronado Springs Resort | Gran Destino Tower Christmas Tree

While Disney’s Coronado Springs is only accessible by Disney Bus, from the parks or Disney Springs it is DEFINITELY worth the visit. We’ve had such wonderful stays at Coronado Springs’s new Gran Destino Tower. And Christmas at Coronado Springs Resort is just gorgeous. Combining beautiful Spanish architectural details with an elegant Christmas Tree in the lobby and multiple trees all over the tower, you can really feel Christmas at this resort.

Disney Pro Tip: When choosing your Coronado Springs room, choose a Gran Destino Tower room. This gets you in close proximity to the Barcelona Lounge and Toledo Restaurant‘s rooftop dining! As one of Disney World’s largest resorts, you will want the convenience of having your dining options close! Be sure to check out our Christmas Tour of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort for all the holiday things to see and do. 

Coronado Springs Gran Destino Tower

Disney Resort Christmas Decorations for the Holiday

While these resorts are favorites for Disney Resorts Holiday Decorations, you can also catch decorations at every Disney resort. Whether you’re trying to pack in all the things or just have a fun-filled family Christmas at Disney, we recommend taking a tiny break to see some of the resorts we share here. The downtime will probably be much needed. Enjoy!

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.

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